lms systems

LMS and CMS Online Selection and Comparison Tool

LMS and CMS Online Comparison and Selection Tools

lms systems

Are you looking for a Learning Management System (LMS) or Course Management System (CMS) for your organization and not sure where to start? Before you check out this great online LMS Comparison tool, take just a few moments to review tips on how to make the most of it.  Not only does this tool give you a feature-by-feature comparison of whichever LMS systems you select, it also allows you rate features by area of important so that you can really whittle down the list. Here’s some tips for using this tool

  1. Not an exhaustive list! Note that some major LMS providers are not listed including Oracle LearnCenter, Plateu, SABA’s Centra, GeoLearning’sLMS, and more.
  2. Focus first on those features that are “must haves”.  This will help you identify your true requirements.
  3. Review each of the LMS features carefully so you understand what each feature really is. This will shortcut the learning process for those new to LMS systems.
  4. Compare as many LMS systems as you have time, but do not use this site as your sole selection resource. Ask for an RFP from at least 5 vendors and ask for live demos from at least 3 vendors (your short list). Obtain at least one sandbox (fully functional demo area) before you commit to a long-term contract with any vendor.
  5. Use this tool as a basis for writing an RFP.
  6. Open Source LMS vs Commercial off-the-shelf Solutions: Many IT departments are wary of open source technologies, even though several LMS systems in this category are excellent, stable, and have large support communities. Some companies even have a “no open source” policy. This tool lists both open source and commercial solutions.

Choosing and LMS vendor can be a time intensive process. Sometimes paying an independent contractor to evaluate your needs, research the LMS solutions, and help identify the best fit is the way to go. Be sure this person is truly totally neutral and not paid like a real estate agent who receives fees from both the seller and the buyer. You want a truly unbiased opinion to help find the best possible LMS solution. Common Must-Have Built-in Features:

  • Secure logon/authentication
  • Ease and extent of LMS look and feel customization. The better systems allow for extensive customization to match your organization’s brand
  • Sub-portals: The ability to create multiple LMS instances and to partition (separate) your learner populations
  • Integrated learning plans, job skills, and other features to facilitate assigning and tracking of training on a job-specific basis
  • Learning Plans/Course Authorization
  • Job Skills, Succession Planning, Talent Management (corporate training).
  • Student Information System (registration, matriculation, grading, etc.)
  • Social Networking (discussion forms, live chat)
  • File/assignment upload
  • Full SCORM 2004 support
  • Vendor and Client Hosted options
  • Built-in course authoring tools (use sparingly)

Common “Nice to have”

  • Personalized profiles (upload picture, bio, etc.)
  • Internal email
  • Work offline/Synchronize
  • Online marketing tools
  • Course templates
  • UNIX Server support

LMS Solution Quick List

  • ATutor
  • Blackboard
  • Claroline
  • Desire2Learn
  • eCollege
  • Eduvo School
  • eFront
  • eTEA LMS
  • Fronter Platorm
  • GeoLearning LMS
  • Joomla LMS
  • Learn.com LearnCenter
  • Moodle
  • Saba’s Centra LMS
  • Sakai
  • WebStudy
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